Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rose lovers, '13 may be be your lucky number


When I’m giving a lecture on roses I often begin by telling the audience my presentation could be hazardous to their health. 

You see, I know better than most that once rose fever sets in, there is no cure. No matter how many roses one has, there will always be a more appealing one coming up in the 2013 gardening catalogs. 

Cottage Rose was one of my very first Austin roses
Which means rose fever can also be hazardous to the pocketbook.

I myself contracted a rare strain called English Rose fever while living in London in the early 90’s when I fell in love with a new line of “old fashioned” roses created by David Austin.

Jude the Obscure
As a result of a hybridizing program initiated in the 1950’s, he captured the appealing features of Old Garden Roses (roses introduced prior to 1867) such as cupped or rosette-shaped flowers and strong fragrance in bushes that have the repeat bloom and vigor of modern roses.

So before the new catalogs arrive I am giving my pocketbook fair warning – I’ve had a sneak peek at the new US introductions and they all look like keepers.

Years in the making

David Austin and Me
When I visited the David Austin nursery in the UK a few years ago, I was able to take a tour of the entire operation. It was fascinating to see greenhouse after greenhouse filled with seedlings and cuttings in various stages of development.

Every year, 150,000 pollen crosses are made by hand which will produce around 400,000 seeds.  These seeds are planted after being chilled in a cooler for three months.

250,000 will germinate and the resulting plants are evaluated for beauty, character, fragrance, diversity of bloom, disease resistance and potential for use in flower arrangements.

Nine years later, only four to six of the original 250,000 plants will make it into commerce.

Here is the class of 2013:

Wollerton Old Hall
The Yew Walk at Wollerton
This rose is going to be a must-have for me since I actually visited the 16th century Hall House that is surrounded by one of the most exquisite gardens in England. 

This vigorous rose can also be grown as a climber

Wollerton Old Hall has an intense myrrh fragrance and is said to be one of the most strongly scented of all English roses. The blooms are a soft cream with hints of peach. The bush has few thorns and produces an abundance of flowers over a long blooming season.



                                                     Lady Salisbury

Named to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Hatfield House, the home of Lady Salisbury, this new beauty boasts old world charm and makes an excellent cut flower. The sugary pink rosettes and matte green foliage are reminiscent of the Alba roses but this modern shrub flowers continuously until frost.

     



          The Lady’s Blush





A perfect candidate for a mixed border, this Lady sports pure soft pink blossoms, a creamy white eye and unusually attractive golden stamens.




              
                                                      Fighting Temeraire

A departure from most soft-colored English roses, this semi-double dazzler features rich apricot petals with a contrasting splash of yellow behind the stamens.  It produces masses of flowers on strong stems and can be trained as a climber

Named after an 1839 JMW Turner painting, this rose has won awards for fragrance and as a landscape rose. Its scent is described as “very fruity with a strong element of lemon zest.”



                                                  Queen Anne

Medium-sized flowers are a pretty rose pink with outer petals slightly paler than interior ones. The flowers are fragrant and stems are virtually thornless. 

If you like the understated charm of old fashioned roses in contrast to large, showy blooms, this rose is for you.








   England’s Rose

This is another must-have for me. The flowers are cerise pink with a spicy fragrance. It throws out large clusters of blooms from May through October or November. And best of all, it is weather resistant! Even with periods of heavy rain the blooms will not ball, and petals drop cleanly.  Yippee! No more soggy blossoms that look like dead mice! 

One word of caution,  I understand the blooms may be small in areas that are quite hot.



So there you go. Six new roses to tempt us. My problem is I want them all, but sometimes it just isn't possible. Since my mountain garden is smaller than the old one in Maryland, I have to consider available space. And then there is that pesky pocketbook!

I've had several people ask me which one to choose if you can only have one. So I consulted the expert, Michael Marriott, Technical Manager for David Austin. He suggests Wollerton Old Hall for its fragrance, beauty and vigor. 

In addition it can be grown as a shrub or climber.

 I actually need a climber by my front porch which makes Wollerton a no-brainer. 

Plus every time I see it in bloom I'll be reminded of that splendid day in that splendid  garden in England.




16 comments :

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Look forward to your assessment of the rose after it is in the garden. I would be sold on the fragrance!!

Jason said...

Of these, The Lady's Blush would be my favorite. I really prefer the semi-double and single roses.

Sunil Patel said...

Hi Lynn, I love David Austin roses they're my favourite kind of rose. I don't go for the modern roses or hybrid teas. I just wish they weren't so expensive, they're a special treat to buy. The roses we do have are still very young so it will be another few years before they really come into their own. They're growing either side of a pair of garden arches so I can't wait for them to clamber up and over them. One of the next roses I might buy is Jude the Obscure, it's supposed to have a very strong scent.

spurge said...

Thank you for the preview of DA's 2013 roses - they all do look so tempting! I am planting my first Austin roses this coming spring... hopefully they will do well for me.

Lynn Hunt said...

Janet, it does sound like the fragrance is divine! Sadly I cannot bring fragrant roses in the house because of my allergies but I enjoy the scent outdoors. Stay tuned...

Lynn Hunt said...

Jason, The Lady's Blush does look special. There is a red ring inside the stamens which is different. I love the single Lyda Rose and have just ordered Red Ballerina.

Lynn Hunt said...

Sunil, I can't wait to see a photo of your Austins on the arches when they are fully grown. What a sight to look forward to! I do give my roses a couple of years to "get on their feet." An exception is Sir John Betjeman which has been a fabulous performer right from the start.

Lynn Hunt said...

Spurge, which ones are you planting? I hope you'll get as much enjoyment from your English beauties as I do!

The Redneck Rosarian said...

Lady Salisbury and Wollerton Old Hall just say wow to me... These are going on my "List".....

Lynn Hunt said...

They are on my list too, Chris. Am going to plant Wollerton by my porch and raise it as a climber! Fighting Temeraire might be awesome next to Julia Child although I am not generally fond of apricot/orange blooms.

Karen said...

Hi Lynn, Austin roses are just fabulous, Jude The Obscure was on my list of purchases this year, hard to find exactly what you want with English roses here, he was a mail order. Doing quite well at the moment, no flowers for a while yet.

Lynn Hunt said...

Karen, I had two Judes in Maryland and both took a year to get established. You are going to love the unique blooms and the amazing fragrance!

HolleyGarden said...

Oh, these are all lovely! How wonderful that you got to see David Austin in person - and the entire operation. The Yew Walk picture is glorious. And the rose named for there, Wollerton Old Hall, is breathtaking. I need to find more places to put some climbers. This one just made my wish list!

Lynn Hunt said...

Holley, you can use Woolerton as a shrub as well if you don't have room for a climber. I can't wait to see those gorgeous flowers and the fragrance is supposed to be amazing. Hurry spring!

Mary Pellerito said...

I love your selections. I may need to find some room in the gardens for another rose.

Lynn Hunt said...

Mary, it's sad but true -- there always seems to be room for one more rose! However my garden is much smaller now than my one in Maryland so I'll have to be more picky with my new additions.

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